Amusing Times With DEN

I have been driving for five hours trying to figure out how to announce this. I had so many different intros running through my head. I should have recorded the many ways and let you pick which one you wanted to hear. Then I wouldn’t have to be typing right now.

Amusement How many of you love field trips? I do! They are fun, energetic and the students soak everything up like a sponge! Well guess what? How many of you like amusement parks? I love them! One great reason to live in Florida! Well guess what! We’re going on a field trip to some amusement parks!

Let’s back up and explain. A little while ago I was asked to work with Lyman Carter (from Rock ‘n Write and SciTech Treks). He’s helping to develop this great national field trip program dealing with science for 5th-12th grade. Each student who attends the national program will have a chance to get a 1 year subscription of Cosmeo – which we all know is just grand and empowering for students. So I was asked to help write pre and post activities for the students using Cosmeo.

Obviously Scott never spoke to my science teachers, but he does know that I LOVE theme parks and their educational value. Yes, I know, with CosmeoI CAN do science, but still. There were something like 500 key concepts to write. But that’s okay, I’m quick to pass the buck right on to you! Of course, we worked out a sweet deal first.

Lyman has such desire to have these fantastic pre and post units written by Discovery Educator Network STAR Members that he’s agreed to give away some prizes at FETC (need not be present to win). But you know, the prizes are only part of it – a small part. You need the experience. You need to see and do what the students are going to do in order to have a complete understanding of the whole deal. You need to discover all 500 key concepts. You need to be educated about all (okay most) of the 500 key concepts. You need to network with other teachers and share your ideas. You get my drift.

We’re going on a field trip! We’re going on a field trip!

(Sing that now!)

EpcotEPCOT, the city of the Future! We’re going to visit this park on October 7, 2006. We will be focusing on technology and science. (Maybe we’ll have time to slip in something for Atlas!)

HomekscNASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Okay, so technically it’s not an amusement park – but I’m sure a true science teacher would think so! We are invited to this park on October 21st. Can you guess what we’re focusing on while here? Of course – physics! Did you think I was going to say space science? 🙂

Hdr_swf_lgoSea World! Oh this is one of my favorite parks! I love Spooky the Beluga Whale! I hope we get to go see her. I’ll have to teach you the Shamu song too! This park’s field trip is scheduled for November 11 and will be focusing on life sciences.

Hdr_bgt_lgoBusch Gardens– I have nothing clever to insert here except that I’ve never been and can’t wait! We’ll be here on December 9th and we’re focusing on life sciences again. Maybe we should ride a roller coaster together and study physics too?

Okay, so now you need the rest of the story, right? What’s expected of you, ya da ya da.

  • We are limited to 10 people per trip, therefore you must choose THE ONE you really want to go on. Email me if you register for two of which one is your absolute first choice.
  • You must register for the trips on the Discovery Educator Network Website’s Calendar.
  • ONLY DEN STARS may attend. If you’re not a Star, you can register in case we have an extra spot or an opening later on.
  • We start each trip, meeting at 10 AM. We end by 3 PM. You will not be able to have family members hang around with you as we will be in various parts of the parks (classrooms, etc). After we are through, you can stay in the park and play, so have your family meet you there after.
  • Lunch is included.
  • Our focus is for science, grades 5-12. IF you get something extra out of it, GREAT! But please be ready to write a pre and post activity for science.
  • You need to be committed to writing a pre and post activity for science and Cosmeo. (We’ll help you with the Cosmeo part.)
  • IF you do not get to attend the field trip, but would like to still enter in the drawing Lyman’s organization is having for the units turned in by December 20, then you may. Just email me. I’ll send you the format as soon as we have it finalized. You do NOT have to attend FETC to win, you do NOT have to be a North Florida DEN Member to win. (I don’t have a list of the prizes yet, but will post them soon.)
  • This is open to ALL Discovery Educator Network STAR Members. If you’re from Georgia and want to come join us for a day of Discovery at these parks, please join us! We’d love to have you (if you register in time!).
  • No travel is included. I cannot pay for mileage or hotels. Sorry. 🙁
  • We will send you the details for the trip you register for two weeks before the trip, including any special log-ins, instructions, or assignments.
  • If you register and cannot attend, please contact me immediately! We will have a waiting list.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, so please don’t let those pesky little details bother you. I know I’m looking forward to it. I must to be willing to give up all those Saturdays! Come on, you can join us for one of them!


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  1. Cheryl Woolwine said:

    What a decesion to have to pick only one! tough job! I look forward to meeting STAR DEN members at the event, if I get in one!.

  2. Cheryl Woolwine said:

    I ended up choosing which field trip I wanted by the content rather than the park. I am more into technology than the other sciences so that is how I chose. But I am sure all will be great!

  3. Danielle Abernethy said:

    By the way – to answer the question that I’ve been asked via email – you do not have to take your students on the trip to qualify for this experience. Next – some of the activities might be podcasting, digital storytelling, creating a presentation, playing certain Brain Games in Cosmeo, etc. So you don’t have to be too scientific with the activities, just an understanding and creative.Cosmeo will lend you most of the ideas anyway -which is what we want.
    You do need to be a DEN Superstar to attend. If you’re not a DEN Superstar – then what are you waiting on?

  4. Michele Futch said:

    Thanks for clearing that up, Danielle. I was surely confused earlier!

  5. Michele Futch said:

    Epcot is my first choice. I haven’t been there in a very long time. It will be neat to learn things from an educator’s point of view and see the special things that have for us. We Will be DEN VIP’s that day!

    Sea World is my second choice. I like sea animals and the water. I haven’t been there in probably 25 years or so. I’m sure it has changed a little since then?

    Busch Gardens is also a nice choice. But, my husband’s Company Xmas Party is that evening. I don’t want to fall asleep at the table. That wouldn’t make a very good impression, would it?

  6. Christine Brink said:

    I keep thinking about that song Baby, Beluga…. What a neat opportunity! Busch Gardens sounds fantastic as well. Danielle you can count on me to be a filler if someone backs out on that one!

  7. Ana McMoran said:

    Can’t wait to go! I would love to go to NASA again, the resources for teachers ae incredible and the C.O.R.E. store is right there available. We can even ask to copy videos for us. Hope I get to meet more DEN’s members too and build the community of Discovery Educators. Thanks Danielle for this opportunity!

  8. Danielle Abernethy said:

    I’m curious too. What is it? Is it excerise stuff (like the ball from CORE Secrets) or something educational? Like the Consortium for Oceanagraphy Educational Research?

  9. Claire Ledrich said:

    Greetings from a new blogger currently on the road. Looking to become STAR but falling. Trying to locate the webinar. Would love to sign up for the field trip.

  10. Tom Turner said:

    Welcome to the blogosphere Claire…

    1. The calendar is where you will find the area to sign up for the field trips.
    2. The same calendar you can find Kay’s webinar if that is what you were looking for

    Let me know if you need anything to help you reach STAR status, by showing up and being active in blogging and webinars, that STAR will shine rather then fall!

  11. Danielle Abernethy said:

    WOW! What great encouragement from one of our North Florida DEN Stars! Welcome to the family Clare.
    I’ll post the dates for the STAR Webinar Clare. But, the one Tom’s talking about will also be a great event to check out. 🙂

  12. Cheryl Woolwine said:

    Michelle. Maybe I will see you at one of the events, as I am requesting the same as you:
    1. Epcot – Technology is my field
    2. Sea WOrld – Haven’t been there in years!
    3. Busch Gardens – Always fun!
    4. NASA – WOW

  13. Ana McMoran said:

    C.O.R.E is a Resource Center for educators at NASA. tons of lesson plan, materials, video duplication of Space and Technology. Anything you need for SPace Units and Science, it is great. Go to

  14. Cheryl Woolwine said:

    Thanks Ana all us non science people were wondering what C.O.R.E. stood for and leaving it up to our imaginaions, you could of been in trouble. I will definetly share this website with my science people. It sounds like a wonderful site! Thanks

  15. Tom Turner said:


    I tried to use html tagging in the comment field and it NOT SO NICELY told me that html was not allowed…is anchor tagging only allowed in your authoring console?

  16. Michele Futch said:

    Hope to see you there, Cheryl. It will be great to see you and spend time with you again!

  17. Mary Z. Cox said:

    Please sign me up for the Busch Gardens trip in December if there is still room.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Mary Z. Cox

  18. Wendy Norton said:

    I signed up for Epcot it has been a long time since I was last their, strictly as a tourist. Because I love technology and science I chose this one. I really look forward to doing the lessons and learning/sharing with others. It should be a great day. Remember, NASA has free workshops for teachers through the Endeavor Academy. I plan to attend two one in November and one in December,lots of free stuff.

  19. Kathy Bunch said:

    Michelle and Cheryl, I signed up for Epcot for the same reasons as you too. I hope I got in on time!!

  20. Shannon Flynn said:

    I wish I could attend some of the great events you offer, Danielle, but it’s just too far away for me to reach without taking time off!

    Keep us the good work!

  21. Angel Spurling said:


    Don’t forget me ! I have already started planning for Epcot ! By the way I loved the digital storytelling inservice! I have been showing all the teachers how cool it is ! Students too ! Thanks again !

  22. Kathy Bunch said:

    I was thinking since I live about 30 miles from Epcot if there is anyone who needs a night’s stay. I have an extra room.

  23. Shirley Hartwig said:

    The field trip idea is so great!!! I have been to all the parks and it would be hard to choose. Karen sent me the info, but I am currently taking an online class and FIRST robotics activities, I will have to decline the offer, but I know you all will have fun!! Shirley Hartwig, South Florida Den Member.

  24. Sylvia Vigo-Smith said:

    Hey North Den, would you consider company from the South. This is fantastic! I would love to DISCOVER THAT! Being able to choose only one is brain racking but I’ve never been to NASA so that might be something to think about, on the other hand I just love those cute little dolphins. To choose, to choose. Maybe I’ll just take a little drive like Danielle did to figure out my #1 choice.

  25. Danielle Abernethy said:

    Sylvia, of course you’re always invited with us! And Shirley – I’d love to attend a workshop on robotics with you presenting once you finish your class. Keep us posted!

  26. Susan Vinson said:

    These ALL sound like fun, but for me, alas, it’s all too far away!

  27. Debbie Bohanan said:

    I should have read your blog before I search the calendar. Sorry for the mistake. 🙂

  28. Debbie Bohanan said:

    You are too cool. These are wonderful ways to experience science concepts. I love going on fieldtrips and since I am the tech coach, it is rare that I get to go on a trip! The only thing missing is the yellow bus.

  29. Debbie Bohanan said:

    By the way, how did you get your text to move back and forth?

  30. Danielle Abernethy said:

    I don’t know if I should share all my little secrets.

    Okay, you twist my arm. This is a site that I found while working on a project for my masters. She was a kid when she created it -still a kid in my book. But WOW!


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